The America the Beautiful Pass is a must if you’re out exploring this great country like Jim and I are. We decided early on that we loved camping in state and national parks, and we absolutely love dispersed camping on federally owned property. You need this Pass if you have a similar style of camping.
The National Park Service has several different passes available, but if you’re over 62, you need to take advantage of the Senior America the Beautiful Pass. This Pass is your ticket to saving money at over 2,000 federally owned recreation sites including National Parks.
Entrance Fees at National Parks
The America the Beautiful Senior Pass covers day use fees/entrance fees at recreation sites managed by these federal agencies:
• Bureau of Land Management
• Bureau of Reclamation
• Fish and Wildlife Service
• USDA Forest Service
• National Park Service
• US Army Corps of Engineers
Our Pass almost paid for itself in two visits to the Badlands National Park (admission $30/car). Jim drove once so I could look at the views and I drove once so Jim could look; it was either that or we’d be at the bottom of one the canyons!
Camping Fees at National Parks
Camping on federally owned properties is 50% off for Seniors with the America the Beautiful Pass. Of course, there are six different agencies involved here so there may be some exceptions. There are also often reduced fees for other facilities and services. We’ve taken advantage of this half price savings at several federally managed campgrounds in national forests and national parks. We’ve also gotten free admission to the same parks so we didn’t have to pay any day use fees. The savings keep adding up.
Cost of the Senior America the Beautiful Pass
The Senior America the Beautiful Pass is $20 per year or $80 for a lifetime membership. You can’t beat the price when you consider all the money you’ll save. You can buy the Pass at any national park entrance or you can purchase it by mail or online. There is an additional $10 processing fee when you purchase by mail or online.
America the Beautiful Pass Requirements
You must be 62 years of age or older and a U.S. citizen to qualify for the Senior America the Beautiful Pass. Proof of age and citizenship is required at the time of purchase. The passes are issued by the National Park Service.
It seems like the cost of everything keeps going up, but I wholeheartedly believe our investment in our lifetime Senior America the Beautiful pass has been one of our better investments. There are so many expenses that we can’t control, but knowing that we won’t have reduced or no fees at federally owned properties helps ease our minds.